The Great Guillermo Farini

jedion357's picture
June 26, 2020 - 1:07pm
A circus and theater entertainer, inventer of the flip up theater seat and had a role in the invention of the parachute, spoke 12 languages, explorer (first white man to cross the Kalahari desert and survive), author 

Discovered a "lost city" except no one esle can find that city and his hand drawn map of the Kalahari is notoriously inaccurate and its almost certain that he did not actually go the full distance in the time given.
the show Expedition Unknown did a convincing investigation into Farini and I think he did find something but not where anyone has looked up till now. The show was fascinating. 

Proposition: Lets re-imagine Farini as a Frontier character

showman, inventor, explorer

Living at a time before the Jump Route to Zebulon has been charted. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
June 26, 2020 - 1:45pm
My thought is that he was a crewman on the ship that discovered Zebulon (as per the Dragon Article "The Volturnus Connection")  and he tells stories of a mysterious system with ruins of a hi tech lost civilization, primitive natives and he desires to return. He has an intriguing artifact he claims came from there- its is pretty off the hook. 

could be that he wants to lead an expedition or that he's old and has a map for the PCs?

The goevernment of Pale bought the jump route infor and plans to send a Volturnus Survey Expedition and considers it something that private citizens should not mess with. ie the government wont be friendly to the PCs polking around and asking questions. 

PCs and or Farini dont have accurte information on the location of Zebulon. - Mission one: determine the right star to jump to. (note the government already has this as well as the Star Devil pirates)

Mission two: secure a ship- government men in black types show up asking questions and potentially a couple of Star Devil pirates causing trouble- bar brawl level of action verbal threats, pushing and shoving etc. trying to scare off the PCs

Mission three: We're off to see Volturnus- leaving Truane's Star- pursued by mysterious ship. Maybe not a KHs fight but a ship thats hanging back and following at extreme distance. 

The ship the PCs end up with could be the Hepplewhite ship? of the Hepplewhite crash sample adventure from the AD rule book. 

EDIT: once in Zebulon system the PCs will face KHs action w/ Star Devil pirates

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
June 26, 2020 - 1:58pm
Note: Farini's artifact can be the Eorna Solar Lantern detailed in FE #9

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
July 14, 2020 - 9:08am
Cool idea. Expedition Uknown has some great episodes... and they make for interesting hooks once reskinned.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

JCab747's picture
December 1, 2020 - 7:20pm
My, I missed this post. It does look interesting.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
December 2, 2020 - 7:09am
Farini had questionable morals- He adopted a girl found on an expedition he financed, Kroa Farini, and not only did he pose for a photograph with her clinging to him like a naked monkey but he also exhibited her as the missing link. It appears she has the mutated gene that causes a person to be covered in hair. 

He clearly exploited her. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
December 2, 2020 - 8:04am
Adventure: Garini's Gambit
Newly imagined intro to the Volturnus Series

Changing up names: Leonard Bartum; stage name the Great Garini
Age 186

He was a famous performer and show man for nearly a century. Seems to have disappeared 50 years ago. Turned up again 7 years ago with fantastic tales of being marrooned on a planet with a lost civilization, pirates, and fantastic creatures, even a telpathic octopoid. 

Is accompanied by a curious monkey like creature (kurabunga). polyvox, skiensuit, kurabunga blow dart tube, darts and a pot of sleep poison (detailed in on of the FE issues), semi-automatic pistol (SFman #1) and spare clip, a hand forged knife , plus a haversack for carrying his stuff. Familiar enough with modern frontier eqiupment. Projectile lvl 1 but lvl 2 if using blow gun or bow and arrows. operates gliding vehicles as if a lvl 4 skill. Has flown a glijet and an enclosed cockpit glider during his time in the Frontier. Loyal to Garini but would love to to return to his home planet he also loves the possibilities that Frontier tech open up to him for flight (cant wait to fly a jetcopter). EDIT: he might be a level 0 technitian he's been learning how things work since getting the Frontier but has not quite qualified as a level 1 tech. Level 0 simply means he does not suffer the -20 penalty for being unskilled.

Garini has been trying to interest people in an expedition, he's not having luck getting people to believe him. mMost dont even believe he is Garini. 

He is hiring a team to go to Laco, he's heard a rumor of a seemingly sapient creature and its lizard like mount wandering the wastes of Laco near the Tetrarch runs and pyramids. He believes this is one of the primitive species from his lost planet and is hoping to discover how it came from there to Laco and use the creature as mounting proof that he is telling the truth and gain financial investment for an expedition. Using the Encounters from Polyhedron or Ares written by Zeb Cook- a scientist from a PGC team out to study the alien ruins and pyramids discovers an Ul-mor and his loper- this Ul-mor was taken aboard a Star Devil pirate ship as a mascot but eventually was abandoned on Laco or he just wandered off from the pirates. 
This Cook encounter is the start of the adventure. 

PGC security will harass and try to run off the PCs and eventually detain them and Garini. Garini in trying to explain things show the PGC exec samples of Tomarrilium and Vibranium that he kept from the pirate operation on Volturnus. 

Note Garini's secret is that he joined an expedition 50 years ago that suffered a catastrophe and marrooned him on Volturnus. he lived there a long time and befriended the kurabunga. When the pirates showed up he thought he was saved but alas no they were pirates. he joined the Star Devils, first as an entertainer but eventually became accepted as one of them and managed to be on board one of their craft headed for the Frontier. and as soon as he could he defected and disappeared. If ever discovered by the Star Devils, things may b very unpleasent for him. 

PGC has been quietly buying the two ores the star devils have been mining on Volturnus as these ores are rare and are critical for making federanium which is a key component in star ship hulls since it is an effective screen against radiation in space. PGC is 1.) worried about their deal with the STar Devil coming to light 2.) would like to know the location of Volturnus and move to cut the STar Devil out even eliminate them as a liability. Thus when they scan Garini's samples they will know they come from Volturnus and are willing to finance a quiet little expedition in Garini's name (using him as a cut out and for deniablity) mindful of the Pale Governments claim to Voltunrus

PGC coughs up the money to outfit an expedition and charter a small ship: Thruster class Privateer? with a crew of 3. The ships crew comes off as scaliwags with rough edges. Garini needs the PCs as a party loyal to him for this.

Once the ship reaches Truane's star there is the issue of a jump route. Garini believes he knows which star it is but does not have a computer file of the Jump route. The astrogator can attempt to chart the route but he and the ships crew are demanding the exclusive property of the rout they chart (this may or may not benefit them as Pale already paid for the route to a guy named Zebulon) . On the other hand Garini spied a Star Devil ship in port and believes that if they can distract the star devils he can pull the star route from the ship's computer.  Decision must be made as to course of action. 
Garini and the kurabunga will begin using a holo screen while in port to prevent being seen by a Star Devil crewman by chance. 

NOTE: depending oun outcome of the Cook Encounter the PCs may have that Ul-mor and his loper in tow. 

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
December 2, 2020 - 8:19am
Alternately on that question obtaining the jump route. Recruiting is going on for the Volturnus Servey Expedition 2 and one or more of the PCs can apply to that to see what the breifings might tell them? This would involve a bit of subterfuge and role play.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
December 2, 2020 - 8:51am
RE the question of the jump route

1. PCs can pretend to join the Volturnus Servey expedition to get access to the briefing. This would let them confirm 100% that the star system that Garini believes is the right one is just that. 

2. they can allow the astrogator and crew of the ship to claim the ownership of the jump route after they chart it. Or:

3. they can attempt to sneak aboard the star devil ship in port and steal the jump route file from the ships computer. 

By DM fiat, once the PCs are ready to set off for Zebulon, the Serena Dawn will have left first and they will be a little behind it, the star devil ship will be behind the PCs ship.

In Zebulon the PCs ship will be intercepted by star devil ships from Volturnus surface and the one following the PCs will attempt an intercept of the PCs ship. They will be equally matched ships but the skills of the pirate crew will give them an edge. This can be an abstract Khs encounter.  It can go a number of ways. boarding by pirates- AD action. crash landing on Volturnus, or evasion of pirates and landing on Volturnus. 

The ship, by DM fiat, will have landed a litte too close to the mechanon mounds and the mechies will take notice and move on the ship when the PCs are out and about. They come back to find one or more of the crew dead, Garini intercepts them just short of the ship to warn them about the mechanons.

Garini acts as a NPC guide to the PCs and the kurabunga and the ul-mor as well. 

The adventure starts from here as a sand box- all 3 of the modules are open to using as sandbox material. 

Garini wishes to collect artifacts that will make them all rich upon returning to the Frontier. perhaps he's also brought along a hover movement mode robot with a camera to document their adventures. Garini joined the pirates to escape Volturnus then jump ship in the Frontier. he bares a star devil tatoo and is afraid of meeting up with the pirates.

The PCs will learn that the Pirates are using slave labor to mine the ores they ship to PGC this is a story line they can pursue 

They can meet a survior of the VSE 2 expedition and learn things.

They can discover the impending return of the sathar and pursue that storyline. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
December 3, 2020 - 12:15pm
PC start possibilities 

Joe Blow Wanderer/Explorer: Garini is recruiting for an expedition to Laco: Rumors that a sapient octopoid creature has mysteriously turned up on Laco and was encountered by a member of the PGC Artifact Recovery Team researching at the Tetrarch Ruins and he believes that it could be an Ul-mor from the planet of his marrooning. Its the usual recruitment gig but with a long term option to be part of his team to find this lost planet and recover artifacts from its lost civilization. Looking for enforcer, technician and Bio-social types for his team. The Mission to Laco is paid (Consult the wage table) and is expected to last 3-5 days but the long term mission to find a lost planet and lost civilization is a shares agreement: Garini gets two shares and everyone else gets one.The hairy ape side kick of Garini also gets a share. Basically the mission to Laco is a dress rehersal of the PCs for the long term mission. Garini will not tell the PCs all that he knows starting out on the mission to laco.

The Scientist: The Exo-Biology department of the Triad Institute of Technology has heard rumors that a sapient octopoid creature has mysteriously turned up on Laco and was encountered by a member of the PGC Artifact Recovery Team researching at the Tetrarch Ruins. Someone should investigate; a grad student is provided with a round trip ticket Journey Class ticket to Laco from Triad and a small stipend to defray expenses. Must have at least level 1 Environmental skill or appropirate skill in other skill systems. Free Environmental tool kit.  The grad student will hear of the Garini's recruitment pitch and might choose to join the party. 

Edit: Perhaps the grad student isn't deputized by the school. Perhaps they're hoping to be the first to examine and document the existance of a new sapient species. to propell them forward accedemically? thus the interest in joining Garini's team. Perhaps they inadvertantly copied something "plagarized" and have been kicked out of the school but hope to do something grand to be readmitted. The player should color this in. The infringment does not have to be as severe a plagarism. 

The Telepath/ Psionically Sensitive: Rumors have emerged from Laco and the most wild rumors are that a mysterious octopoid creature has turned up there and that it is telepathic ("Crazy, Right?"). The Free Thinkers Cadre, being concerned with psionics and protecting those who are gifted with psionics, is sending a member (chapter or cell member from: Gran Quivera or Triad?) to investigate. this character may alread have mentalism powers or the player may wish that the character will evolve mentalism powers. Note the cadre The Clear Thinkers is the arch rivals of the Free Thinkers. 

Perhaps the PC is empathically sensitive. If they touch a being/creature and make an INT check they can "feel" the emotions of that creature. This would be a storyline of an evolving mentalist character. The Ul-mor ceremony that occurs when the moons and planets align would be the trigger for actual mentalism powers on the part of this PC.

The Assassin: The Clear Thinkers cadre hates and fears the possibility of telepaths and sends an operative to investigate the rumors coming out of Laco and if neccessary eliminate the supposed octopoid telepath. Must have a weapons skill and gets a free weapon. if this is not a PC start profile there will be an NPC using this profile and potentailly an assassin to kill the Ul-Mor. This should be an NPC but I can think of one player I've played who never plays good characters and would jump at playing this character. I would require the player to detail why the character hates telepaths, possibly something from his childhood? I would allow the player to even assassinate the Ul-mor "off camera" (by email). And I would then treat his membership in the Clear Thinkers as a secret the player should protect. 

This character could have a back story of a parent that was a telepath or empath and that they were not the best individual and this character hated their parent and by extention all other telepaths and empaths, hence his joining the Clear Thinkers. Irony is that mentalism powers could or Are part of his DNA make up via the hated parent. This could mean that exposure to things on Volturnus could lead to the emergence of mentalism powers in this character. This could lead to very interesting role play possibilities and the start profile should be reserved for the kind of player that is into role play. 

The Spy: As far as the Pale government is concerned, they own the jump route to Volturnus and plan to exploit the potentially lucrative planet themselves as an extra-system territory. The government is aware of Garini and his claims and they are worried about a clause in the UPF articles of federation that could (not at all certain that it will be applied that way but one strict interpretation of it could) invallidate their claim to Volturnus if it can be proved that Garini lived there for decades like he seems to claim. They are also interested in claims that a pirate band has set up a slave labor mining ring on Volturnus. At least one weapons skill and a free easily concealable weapon plus either technician or computer skill. This character has been following Garinin for 3 months without much to report and is worried that he/she/it could be called off and reassigned elsewhere


Star ship Life Support Technician: This character landed a job on a tramp freighter that had a lot of issues with non critical equipment breaking down Thus they employed an extra technician besides the engineer. The bane of his existance was the life support plant- filters had to be cleaned every couple of days and the captain refused to by the proper replacement parts as it worked just fine. Eventually the PC separated from the ship- player colors in the reason. Player must also name a ship, a captain, and an engineer who are somewhat hostile to him in exchange his character has specialized knowledge of life support systems and air ducts on common commercial star ships and can use this in game most of the time without an ability check- sometime the GM will require an ability check.

Soul Survior Mercenary: This PC is the soul survivor of a mercenary team that may have been set up by megacorp X, His team got wiped out on a infiltrate/Snatch and grab. He has not even tried to collect his last pay check from the corporation but has effectively "gotten lost". The pain of loosing team mates means he's looking to NOT return to classic mercenary work and perhaps a gig as security specialist on an expedition inot Laco's Outback is what the doctor ordered. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!